Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake is a delicious dessert that comes from Transylvania. It has three layers: crust, farmer cheese, and meringue.
My mom sent me this recipe a long time ago, from Romania, by mail. The recipe was called Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake from Tante Anicuta. Tante Anicuta was my grandfather’s sister. She loved to bake.
Many of her recipes got lost over time, so this recipe is very special to me. Tante Anicuta lived in Fagaras, a little town in the heart of Transylvania, where my dad’s side of the family was from.
I used to spend summer vacations at Fagaras, so I got to taste many of the baked goods that Tante Anicuta made.
This recipe is an exciting one. I avoided this recipe for many years as I thought it was a complicated one.
The fact is that I never spent enough time to read the recipe through and see how easy it actually is to put it together until one day while looking for inspiration for my blog, I found it buried between the pages of an old cooking book.
I am not even sure if I should call the recipe a cake or something else, but it has three layers, the dough, a shortbread crust, the farmer cheese, and the meringue one.
The dough is only half-baked,
then the farmer’s cheese filling is added on top of the dough.
The cheese layer is spread all over the half-baked crust.
The egg whites are the last layer added to the cake.
The whole thing is baked again until the meringue on top gets golden brown, and the cake passes the toothpick test.
When you cut it, you will have these three beautiful layers of sweet divine fluffiness. Serve it cut into squares with a cup of Turkish Coffee for more authenticity!
What I love about the recipe is its texture and the fact that it doesn’t waste any ingredients. It shows that people in the past valued these ingredients and wanted to make sure they were used properly.
While my grandparents, for example, were a little bit wealthier and had the opportunity to be the first ones around to own a refrigerator, most people did not have one.
Recipes like this one are abundant in Romania, where people made sure, for example, that if you crack an egg to bake something and you need the yolk for the crust, you need to figure out what to do with the egg white, so it doesn’t get thrown away. Pretty cool, right?
So, let’s take a look at the recipe and try to make it. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!
It certainly brought back many memories of my childhood!
Note: Here, you have a recipe for Farmer Cheese or cottage cheese.
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Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter 11 tablespoons
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
Farmer Cheese Filling:
- 1 pound Farmer Cheese
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Note: The recipe calls for 4 eggs that will need to be separated (2 egg yolks will go to make the dough, 2 egg yolks will go inside of the farmers cheese filling, and the 4 egg whites will make the meringue)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
To make the crust:
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder together.
- Add cubed cold butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You should have a sandy mixture. (Note: you can use a food processor and pulse a few times to obtain the same texture)
- Add egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla and incorporate them into the dough. It will still be a little bit crumbly.
- In a 9×13 baking pan, spread the dough equally with your fingers and press it down.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. The crust is only half baked at this point.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the farmer cheese filling, then spread the mixture over your crust.
- Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff and add the sugar. Do not overmix. You still need to taste the crunchiness of the sugar in your meringue.
- Spread the egg whites over the other farmer cheese layer and bake the cake at 350F for another 20 minutes.
- The meringue has to be golden brown, and the cake has to pass the toothpick test inside.
- Let it cool and serve it cut in squares with a cup of Turkish coffee.